Hach and LuminUltra partner to deliver first rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater

Friday February 26, 2021 0 comments Tags: Loveland, Hach, LuminUltra, James Harbridge, Pat Whalen, COVID-19

LOVELAND -- Hach, a leader in water analysis, and Canada-based LuminUltra, a leader in biological diagnostic testing, have partnered to offer the world's first rapid, on-site testing solution for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater.Hach-logo 

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. The partnership is a direct response to consumer and community need for same-day test results and accessible, cost-efficient solutions.

"Hach's mission is to ensure water quality for people around the world,” said James Harbridge, business development manager for Hach.

“When the pandemic hit, Hach immediately looked to see if there was a way that we could help fight the spread. Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) was the logical area for us to contribute.

"This partnership with LuminUltra enabled us to quickly bring a product to market with the potential to help slow virus spread. We are excited to see how communities, businesses and schools use this solution to make a positive impact on public health."

Since early 2020, scientists have learned much about COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. But asymptomatic transmission plus gaps in testing and contact tracing have made it difficult to pinpoint the virus and take appropriate protective action against outbreaks.

Streamlined sampling and testing protocols make SARS-CoV-2 wastewater testing one of the least-invasive early warning systems available for continued pandemic management, Hach said.

The Hach complete SARS-CoV-2 monitoring offering includes the company’s line of composite samplers plus a SARS-CoV-2 onsite testing method by LuminUltra. The onsite method is based on a simple and quick extraction coupled with an easy-to-use laboratory qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) analyzer, which produces results within a couple of hours.

"We're proud of our long-standing partnership with Hach and our history of distributing fast and simple solutions to microbiological problems," said Pat Whalen, LuminUltra CEO.

"In the face of this global pandemic, regular wastewater monitoring gives us a view into the bigger picture of the health of our communities.  This non-invasive testing method is a game-changer for effectively managing the pandemic and this partnership between our two organizations makes this surveillance tool more accessible to communities everywhere." 

Emerging public health research confirms the ability to detect SARS-CoV-2 almost a week before physical symptoms of COVID-19 through non-invasive wastewater surveillance system monitoring.

This testing solution from Hach and LuminUltra is working for community partners.

 "Testing for COVID in the wastewater directly onsite has opened up the opportunities for our Health and Human Service Department to make timely decisions that could immediately benefit our community," said Dawn Cowell, wastewater laboratory supervisor for the City and County of Broomfield.

"This test has also opened our eyes to the various wastewater testing capabilities that we didn't even know existed pre-COVID."